Walk and Talk


"You wanna go out for coffee?" I remember asking friends back in the latter years of high school in the mid-Eighties.  It felt so grown up to say it; it felt even more grown up to do it.  Back in those days, we had two spots in my hometown of Kamsack, Saskatchewan that we convened: the Tempo gas station or Toro's restaurant.  We'd sit around shooting the shit while adding cube after cube of sugar to our cups and stirring way too long, like it was a sign of maturity or something.

Almost 30 years along and going for coffee is still a big part of my life.  Sugar cubes have been replaced by Sugar Twin, mugs are now paper(isn) cups with plastic lids, and the stirring is kept to a minimum.

It struck me, sitting at Live Cafe last night, that it has become, ipso facto, my office away from the office.  In a given week, I have several business meetings over a cup of joe in the coffee bar nestled inside the Nomad Inn. It's relatively quiet (although a patron recently chastised me for being the opposite), there are usually a few empty tables, and parking is easy to find.

This "going for coffee" thing has become a habit, one that is rather sedantary and caffeine-fuelled.  I was reminded of a meeting alternative while thumbing through SUCCESS magazine last night.

Steve Jobs, the iconic mastermind behind the iPhone, iPod and iMac, was famous for taking friends and colleagues on "walk and talks", long meandering strolls through his neighbourhood having conversations.  His brain functioned better when he was moving and talking.  In fact, he kept doing it right up to the final weeks of his life.

As I starred at this brief mention in SUCCESS, it struck me that there is an opportunity to promote a reasonable alternative to "Let's go for coffee".

"Would you join me for a Walk and Talk?" has a completely different ring to it.  In addition to getting our bodies moving, it gets us into our neighbourhoods, in a very different way than our typical drive throughs. When you're on foot, you catch details and nuances that usually go unnoticed as you go cruising by.

The weather is getting much better, with the worst of the slush mostly behind us.  Now would be a great time to upgrade your coffee meetings to a Walk and Talk.  Your body, mind and business associate will thank you for it.

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